A Transition Plan for Library Advocates

November 13, 2020

Based on campaign pledges, the Biden-Harris administration will be more favorable to education investment and the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion. President-Elect Joe Biden’s cabinet selections will likely indicate a significant shift in policy around education, telecommunications, workforce issues, and many other areas. However, the change of leadership in the White House does not … Continue reading A Transition Plan for Library Advocates



In Practice, by Meredith Farkas

Our Collective Power

November 2, 2020

However, during this crisis, many library workers are unexpectedly forced to advocate for themselves. Early in the pandemic, Twitter became a vital space for workers seeking advice and support when trying to get their libraries to close or to demand adequate safety measures. I know many library workers who are fierce advocates for their patrons … Continue reading Our Collective Power


Referenda Roundup 2020

October 27, 2020

To get the ball rolling, here we present library referenda that have appeared since last year’s roundup. Check back after Election Day (November 3), as AL brings you the latest in library-related yeas and nays—from Colorado, where Denver voters will decide whether to allow the city to spend money on broadband internet for libraries and … Continue reading Referenda Roundup 2020


New York Library Association members and staffers meet virtually with Christina Henderson (bottom row, pink shirt), Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) handling education, workforce, and census issues for both the Senate leadership and Sen. Schumer’s personal office.

Pushing for Action on LSFA

September 14, 2020

LSFA (S. 4181/H.R. 7486) would establish a $2 billion emergency fund to address financial losses and bolster library services for libraries of all types, with priority given to the hardest-hit communities. Most of the funding ($1.7 billion) would go directly to states to meet local library needs such as avoiding furloughs, providing safe workspaces, or … Continue reading Pushing for Action on LSFA


From the President, by Julius C. Jefferson Jr.

Stand Up, Speak Out

September 1, 2020

For 60 years Lewis served and advocated for our collective humanity. What many may not know is that his wife, Lillian, who passed in 2012, was his chief advisor and a librarian. Lewis’s legacy reminds me that service is the fundamental reason libraries exist and that reading and access to information—which are human rights—are necessary … Continue reading Stand Up, Speak Out



COVID-19 policy update

HEROES Act Stalls in Senate

May 22, 2020

Despite the 101 representatives who called for $2 billion in funding for libraries, a bipartisan letter signed by 46 senators calling for new library stabilization funding, and a coalition of 35 national organizations, the HEROES Act provided only $5 million for libraries through the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The HEROES Act does aim to increase digital equity. The House bill provides $4 billion to expand high-speed internet access to those who cannot afford it, … Continue reading HEROES Act Stalls in Senate


COVID-19 policy update

ALA Rallies Support for Congressional COVID-19 Relief Packages

May 12, 2020

According to the letter, “COVID-19 has caused significant revenue losses for libraries, resulting in thousands of furloughs and layoffs to date. Fiscal stabilization is needed to preserve crucial library services for students, job seekers, and small businesses.” Citing significant support for libraries in Congress, the letter’s signatories wrote, “We join with more than 100 bipartisan … Continue reading ALA Rallies Support for Congressional COVID-19 Relief Packages


Fund Libraries: Tell Congress to Invest in Libraries graphic, with red and white text on black background

Library Advocates Stay in Motion

April 1, 2020

February 10 may feel like 100 years ago, but that date marked—for a fourth consecutive year—the administration’s threat to eliminate all library funding from the federal budget. As ever, library advocates responded with emphatic determination. The annual campaign to gather support for the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program began with ALA’s annual fly-in, the timing of which aligned with the … Continue reading Library Advocates Stay in Motion


Collage of states on green background

State-by-State Snapshots

March 2, 2020

California Funding from state: $26.5 million earmarked for counties for outreach, some of which may go to libraries A cohort of California librarians, in conjunction with the California State Library and the California Library Association (CLA), created an online toolkit for libraries to help prepare for the census. CLA also established an online portal of … Continue reading State-by-State Snapshots


From left: Melanie Toledo (at podium), Carolyn Petersen, and Janessa Esquivel.

Supporting Tribal Libraries

February 28, 2020

At “Perspectives on Outreach to Tribal Libraries,” a February 28 program at the Public Library Association’s 2020 Conference in Nashville, librarians from tribal libraries and the state libraries that support them offered tips for successful collaboration. Have a purpose. Are you from a state or public library that wants to reach out and network with … Continue reading Supporting Tribal Libraries